When you’re at the top of your game as a Virtual Assistant, it’s pretty awesome. You have clients and a steady income, you can work on a schedule that tends to complement your lifestyle well, and ideally you’re working with people you love in an industry you care about.
But have you ever wondered how to make your career more sustainable? What if you suddenly lose a client and your income drops significantly? Do you fear the freelance feast or famine? Having extra sources of income on top of the work you’re doing is a perfect way to avoid feeling like you’re continually having to hustle.
Make your career work FOR YOU by considering these additional income streams for your biz.
Affiliate marketing is when you promote or recommend other people’s or brand’s products or services. In exchange, you receive a monetary commission from sales of these products/services purchased through your promotions. Sometimes you may receive other or additional perks as a result of your tracked promotions – perhaps free service months or additional capabilities in a tool you use every day.
You may not know it, but you’re uniquely positioned to have a lot of success with affiliating to tools and programs to clients and your audience at large.
Are there products or software that you use and love? Are there tools that most of your clients use and you could recommend to a new client who is stuck? Write a blog post or a video tutorial for these products.
Have you taken a course (*ahem, The VA Starter Kit™)? Let your network know, first hand, honest experience is the easiest way to make sales. Do you have books or tech equipment that you can’t live without? Write a review and link to the items. Just about every software product you use and most courses have affiliate programs you can sign up for. Here are just a FEW to give you an idea:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Dubsado is a business management software. With their affiliate program, for every paid referral you send them you earn a free month and they get 20% off.
- Convertkit is an email marketing tool that I also personally use. It has a great recurring commission scheme, you get paid for every month that people are still signed up – which is usually a long time. I make money every single month from Convertkit from a promotion I did 4 years ago!
- Hubspot has no commission limits and a huge database of marketing materials you can use to help with increasing your (their) sales.
Recurring models rock, but all are worthwhile – esp if you create a blog post that is super helpful and continuously have traffic driven there. But like anything, make sure you read the fine print, so you know all the details.
Courses and Programs
- Yep, you can join our affiliate program here. Eventually, you’ll get people asking you how you got started and this is the perfect opportunity to market to your network.
- Teachable gives you 30% lifetime commissions for your referrals and you don’t need to have a published course.
- Spread the love and sign up to be an affiliate for courses and programs for other freelancers and biz friends that you have learned from. Like my friend Kari’s SEO course, Rise & Convert. I’ve thoroughly gone through her course and Kari is the number one person I recommend if you’re looking to learn SEO or offer it as a service to your clients.
If you have a website, then you can sign up with your hosting provider’s affiliate program. Just search for “[your hosting provider] + affiliate”. Most hosting platforms pay anywhere from $30 up to $200, depending on the number of referrals you generate a month. I’m a big fan of Siteground, it has always been my host of choice and I make plenty of commissions recommending it.
You don’t have to be the one doing all the VA work. In fact, some people can’t afford to hire you on an ongoing basis or simply want to learn how to do things themselves. This is where you come in and offer your consulting services. This work is particularly ideal if you have more in-depth skills in certain areas.
Do you specialize in tech and optimization? Many businesses need help to figure out exactly which software to use for accounting, web hosting, customer relationship management (CRM), etc. (This is perfect for those affiliate marketing programs too.)
Is design or social media your thing? Sometimes clients just need direction on what their website should look like. Some need help figuring out what types of images to use in their posts to target their specific industries.
Are you a marketing whiz? Walk a client through what the best marketing strategies are for their particular business model.
Many new businesses need help with basic and initial strategies and systems. This is when they will turn to you, the expert. I say this all the time…virtual assistance is skilled work, so make sure you charge EXPERT RATES for these more intimate and focused one-off encounters.
Even as a course creator, I recognize that sometimes people want to work with me one on one, so I offer consulting and private mentoring in the mix. It’s a fabulous extra bit of income in a different, exciting format.
Developing your own products is a great way to earn additional revenue. Below are just a few examples of different ways to get your knowledge out there.
Creating your own course isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but it can be done with reasonably little hassle if you know your stuff inside out, use a tool that makes your life easier and keep it simple. Iff this is something you’re interested in, our Inner Circle member, Amanda Sloan is an impressive example of utilizing what you know and packaging it. Amanda made her own podcast course. What do you specialize in? Some people would rather DIY, so create a short course and walk them through.
If you have expert knowledge or skills in a particular area, you could put together a masterclass teaching others. How you design your masterclass is up to you, but typically they are a one-time, live event that usually lasts an hour or two. Attendees get direct access to you and your brain. For example, if web design is your thing, hold a live group hand-holding sesh to build out a website. Most masterclasses are expected to be intense, in-depth training on a specific area of expertise. For example, if you’ve been networking right, it would be easy enough to grab 10 people, charge them all $100 for a brilliant masterclass and voila, that’s $1000 extra here and there.
Templates are also an amazing way to get started with products. Everything from contracts to email templates. Are you a WordPress whiz? Can you code? Build a theme or a plugin. If designing is where you thrive, you can create templates for all the social media channels. Think about what you do, what your clients ask for. Find out what their pain points are and what products could help. If you find yourself regularly re-creating things, those are perfect trial templates to start with. Chances are good that others need those same things.
Speaking of templates, have you checked out our Extended VA Template bundle? We’ve got contracts for different working arrangements, a service sheet, T&Cs and more being added as we speak! Grab it now before the price goes up.
This is pretty straightforward. Printables are digital downloads you can print. This includes workbooks, worksheets, planners, trackers, etc., pretty much anything you can think of. But look at what your clients struggle with. This is what you’ll want to create and what will sell.
Remember, you’re not restricted to only the income from work you do for your clients. Being a VA opens loads of doors. It’s never a bad idea to diversify your income. Whether its semi-passive income from affiliate sales or high-end consulting services, having multiple streams of income is a solid backup addition to any flourishing VA business.
You could excel in any or all of the three ways we talk about in this blog post, however, you’re a million times more likely to succeed at them – and in general at creating a truly successful Virtual Assistant career if you’ve built a bountiful network. Networking was and still is the key ingredient in my, and hundreds of my students business growth and development. Networking can be easy – and even fun – grab our ridiculously low-priced ‘Ultimate Guide to Networking on Facebook’ and get started right away.